I have a new article out this week (co-authored with David Barling) in a Special Issue of the International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food. The articles can be accessed for free, online: http://ijsaf.org/contents/19-2/index.html
Duncan and Barling examine the activities of the UN’s Committee on World Food Security (CFS). They indicate that this body’s attempt to incorporate the interests of civil society organizations (that is, both social movements and non-governmental organizations) is consistent with neo-liberal desires to widen participation in global food governance. Yet, the so-called Civil Society Mechanism (CSM) that the CFS has adopted is viewed as an innovative means of bringing new voices to the table and as having the potential to challenge some of the excesses of neo-liberalist thinking that continues to dominate public discourse about food security. Indeed, the overall legitimacy of the future activities of the CFS will, the authors argue, be based upon the extent to which civil society organizations can alter CFS policies in the face of wider, hegemonic views from wealthy countries relating to the necessity for the adoption of agro-industrial solutions to world food production/supply problems. Duncan and Barling claim that the CSM, while something of an experiment, is a ‘politicizing, engaging and connecting’ mechanism that has the potential to strengthen the influence, at the global level, of the very groups most affected by food insecurity.